Independence Day is a great time for parties picnics, potlucks, and barbecues. Unfortunately, these celebrations tend to be heavy on fat, salt, and sugar as we tear open bags of chips, bottles of soda (or beer), tubs of potato salad, and cartons of ice cream. This year, why not mix in some healthier options that show off your patriotic spirit by mirroring the red, white, and blue of the flag?
Swap one of these ideas into your standard Fourth of July menu, or use them all together for one healthy, colorful, patriotic meal.
Top Red, White, and Blue Foods for the Fourth of July
For some healthy red, white, and blue snacking that squeezes in a helping of vitamins before it’s time to dig into the main meal, put out a veggie tray. There are loads of color-appropriate veggies to choose from, including cauliflower florets, cherry tomatoes, grilled eggplant, radishes, red peppers, and chilled steamed blue potatoes.
Let’s face it – your main dish will probably be cooked on the grill. The good news is that grilled chicken breast is a great white main dish, and paired with color-appropriate homemade cranberry and concord grape sauces it offers protein, vitamins, and a dose of Vitamin C.
The classic Caprese salad – tomatoes, bocconcini cheese, and basil topped with olive oil and balsamic vinegar – covers the red and white. Toss in some blueberries or blackberries for a unique take that incorporates the color blue.
Vanilla frozen yogurt makes the perfect base for a patriotic dessert. Top it with your favorite red and blue fruits, like strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and cherries, for a tasty sweet dish that’s packed with calcium, antioxidants, and Vitamin C.
The Bottom Line
Red and blue foods are well known for their antioxidant punch, but people tend to underestimate the nutritional value of white foods. A healthy serving of all three colors makes this patriotic Fourth of July meal one you can feel good about serving to kids and grownups alike.
Canadians, take note! You can use these ideas, too. Just remove the blue items for a patriotic menu for Canada Day.
Christina Newberry is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in national and local magazines and newspapers. With a Bachelor’s degree in English and Anthropology from the University of Victoria and a Journalism Certificate from Langara College, Christina brings keen curiosity and the love of a good story to her work with HealthCastle.com.
Christina is a passionate traveler and urban gardener with an interest in vegetarian eating and making good, tasty food from scratch. Sharing lessons learned from her own experiences, Christina writes about lifestyle topics for HealthCastle, with a focus on eating well at home and on the road.